The heat reminds me of long summer days when my siblings and I couldn’t be bothered to do much more than make the short walk to Circle K for 89 cent polar pops and chips. If we weren’t doing that, we were inside watching movies with our mom, the AC blasting and her trying to defuse every boredom-induced fight we picked with each other. By the end of the summer I had the lines to Juno, Moonrise Kingdom, Napoleon Dynamite, and a handful of other movies memorized because those were the only ones we had.
My favorite was Superstar staring Molly Shannon. Even though the movie was very obviously a parody, I adored everything about her character. She was weird and went to a Catholic school. She prayed every night for a boy to kiss her and eventually she gets a mysterious emo boy who rides a motorcycle to do just that. It was the glow up twelve-year-old me wanted for herself.
The opening scene of the movie starts with Molly’s character explaining that there’s two ways to get into a pool. The first is to check the temperature of the water by dipping your toe in the water, deciding if it’s okay, then slowly wading in, and the second is to jump. I remember this sparking a big argument with my sisters.
I said something along the lines of “I just jump in, ya know? With everything in life.”
And they responded correctly with “No. You don’t. You take forever to decide and do things.”
That response didn’t fit the way I saw myself in my head even if it was true. I probably called them rude and told my mom that they were being mean to me.
I’ve always wanted to be the type of person who isn’t afraid to just jump into things. I want to be that free spirit that does things and figures it all out as they go along. Alas, I’m not that person and that might not be a bad thing. I think about things before pursuing them. I keep big pictures in mind when making small decisions. It’s just always been like that for me.
On the rare occasions when I’ve let myself not think so much, I have found that the stress and backlash it tends to cause later is just not worth it for me. I’m always going to check the water at least briefly.
One of my best friends is completely comfortable just jumping in. Fully clothed sometimes. Just feet first into the water and everything seems to work out just fine for them.
The last time we hung out I asked them to watch Superstar with me and I did what you usually do when showing someone something you love: watch them watch it and make sure they’re reacting to it properly.
“Well what part stood out most to you?” I asked when it was finally over.
“Probably the part where she makes out with the tree.”
I’d never rolled my eyes harder in my entire life.
“But what about the pool part? Where she tells you the two ways to do it? Did the part when she jumps in remind you of you?”
They laughed at me and told me I romanticize literally everything in my life that I possibly can. I can’t help it, I’m a Taurus.
We talked about it more and got to a point where they were explaining how they set themselves up to be a person who does what they want to do and doesn’t really worry what other people have to say, but their words can get them into trouble and that stresses them out more than they let anyone know. They admitted that sometimes they wish they were more careful like me.
That made me cry because:
1) Everything makes me cry.
2) Someone I look up to wishes they can be more like ME?
And eventually they started crying because we were finding out a lot about ourselves and it was kinda scary.
I said, “well at least we both end up in the water eventually.” To which they politely asked me to stop talking because I sounded like a walking poetry book.